Losing Your Job Is Also a Grief Process

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Working with Outplacement, each day becomes stronger the certainty of how much losing a job is a process of pain and suffering for those who pass, especially for people who dedicated years of their lives to a single company.

In the many consultations I gave to professionals who went through this situation, the feeling I heard most was regret. Regret for not having followed the growth of their children, for having traveled for work on their wedding anniversary, for not having spent more time with their father who died of cancer, for not having lived their own life but the life of the company.

Being turned off can also often produce a feeling of betrayal. The professional feels as if all the dedication offered for so long, at that moment, was not relevant. And from important and essential people who felt themselves, they start to feel like just another person who passed through that company, just a number. Self-esteem is shaken, especially if the professional does not understand the reason for his departure.

You must think that with managers that doesn't happen, right? After all, they receive feedback, training, go through development processes, have high self-awareness, it seems obvious that they know the reason why they were fired. But the truth is, this is more common than you might think.

We cannot just come one day for a professional who has worked for 20 or 30 years at the same company and say that he is being fired for his inappropriate behavior, because he is being resistant to changes and advances in technology, or even because he felt that he does not agree with younger management and is highly critical. If he was never prepared why was he promoted to a management position? Who made a mistake, if for so many years he never knew which points he needed to develop?

The role of whoever leads the termination process is not simple, and begins long before the decision is made.

In the midst of so many deliveries, goals and urgencies, it's not easy to stop to think about the development of each team member, but it's necessary. Monitoring performance and frequent feedback are the best way to alert the professional. Even if it is not comfortable for the manager, transparency is the best way, and it should happen at all stages of the professional's career in the organization. So, as much as his self-esteem is shaken after a disconnection, at least he will know what he can do differently in a new challenge.

Adriane Lourenço
is an Executive Search consultant at HR Consultant UK with experience in executive career transition processes in Middle and Top Management.


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